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King of White Lion

“King of White Lion” (Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Hakuojishi’, Japanese Tree Peony) Nikon D300, 60mm, F/8, 1/400s, ISO 200

When I started this blog in June of 2009, the Japanese tree peonies had already passed blooming. 😦 I am so happy it is peony season once again! 🙂  

This GIANT, semi-double blossom measures 8″ across and the scent is incredible! Like the sweetest rose with just a hint of spice. 

Last week’s high winds broke off a large branch containing a fat, juicy bud – oh no! I quickly took it inside, scraped about 2 inches of the bottom of the woody stem and plunked the entire thing into water. Four days later, the bud opened!! Woo hoo! 🙂

Having a stem I could place wherever I pleased made photographing my favorite flower much easier. I found the perfect patch of dappled sunlight and clicked while I watched it dance over the bloom. With the sun warming my shoulders, I didn’t even mind the breeze that would ever-so-often ruffle the petals. 

Peony season rules! 🙂



  1. For a minute there I was trying to work out what Tree Ponies were… lol… You can tell I’m not a world renowned floracist… or something… 😉
    Real nice shot of your broken pony… And just imagine how many bees you could get on those stamen… errrrh… I mean yellow sticky out bits.. 🙂

    • LOL! I think you mean ‘florist’ but I suppose with you, you really just never know!!

      Tree peonies are more like shrubs and they boast really BIG blooms that are prized in both Japan and China. They take years to propagate and some rare kinds can be very expensive! I love them as well as the standard herbaceous types (the ones I’m sure you are more familiar with…they are a favorite of English gardens since they almost look like roses). See? You learnt something today! 🙂

      I tried to get a hoverfly that was hanging about but he seemed particularly spooked by the lens. C’est la vie! 🙂

      Thanks, Brian!

      • Maybe I’ll have to keep an eye out for them when I next visit one of our many local castles… lol… 😉

  2. Lovely. It also has a nice bonus of the pollen being on the petals as well as the stamens. Yellow, blue, white, green, very nice. And you didn’t have to use a blue chair. 😉 Poor flower, the days are numbered.

    • Thank you, Sean! The one thing these flowers do not lack is pollen! 🙂 The trick is to not move it so much that the pollen is all over the pure white petals making them, essentially, yellow.

      Nope, no blue chair! Good thing M. Nature decided to me kind to me today and provide a lovely blue backdrop! 🙂

  3. This is a great photo and also a beautiful flower.

    • Thanks, Geoff! And, welcome! Always nice to see a new face on the comments! 🙂

  4. I don’t know what’s prettier, the flower or the blue sky! So happy that you’re finally seeing the sun again 🙂

    • Ha! Ya know? I’m not sure on that one either! Today was GORGEOUS and the bad mood I’ve been in all week has been lifted! Will it last? Sigh, we just don’t know. 😉

      Thanks, M! Me, too! 🙂

  5. Wonderful control of the whites. Just beautiful! 🙂

  6. I love peonies and I really like how you photographed it here. I like the nice blue sky in the background too

    • Thanks, Consuelo! What’s NOT to love about peonies! They are truly amazing flowers! I thought they were ‘magical’ when I was a kid as my mom had a herbaceous type and I would (impatiently) wait for the buds to burst open. I guess I still think they are magical! 🙂

  7. Fantastic blog, I’m sorry I’m just now finding it with so few days left!!

    • Thank you, Derrick! Welcome! 🙂

      No worries..the 365 may end but I doubt that will be the last of my postings. I will need a break but hope to post a few times a week. (You can subscribe to get notices via e-mail when new posts go up). I hope you stop by again! Cheers! 😀

  8. Beautiful flower in a beautiful photo. Good one Tracy.

  9. very pretty palette!

  10. Tree peonies, eh? I haven’t added one of those to my garden but that is very pretty! Can’t wait for them all to be open. Peony season goes by way too fast.

    • Oh, you would LOVE them! They are more like shrubs with woody stems and the buds are ENORMOUS! I have 5 varieties in my garden and these are such a nice way to start off peony season! 🙂

      Thank you, Karma!

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